Reviews for Simply Alice
Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 June 2002
Gr. 6-9. There are no big crises in the fourteenth book about Alice. If she has problems as she completes her first year in high school, it's because she's too busy juggling all the different parts of her life, including stage crew, the school newspaper, new friends, and a stammering secret admirer, to say nothing of an emergency appendectomy that she takes in stride. One thing that does connect several episodes is embarrassment, from the opening chapter when Alice pees in her pants at school (and her friends help her cover up) to the end, when her beloved, sophisticated stepmother-to-be steps off the plane and vomits all over Alice's dad. More serious is the underlying question: When does something cease to be a joke and become harassment? Is pinching someone's butt just fun? What about hazing? Should Alice keep quiet after three guys humiliate her? She's sometimes too articulate for a 14-year-old, but the messages are neither superficial nor overearnest. Fans will grab this for the funny, honest daily drama of a teenager growing up now. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
Naylor delivers the same humor, issue-driven story lines, and familiar, realistic characters in this installment. Like Alice herself, the book seems to be marking time until the next Big Event in Alice's life--her father's long-anticipated marriage. For now, Alice's focus is on getting through the second half of ninth grade and ""juggling all the different parts of [her] life."" Reading about the highs and lows of Alice's life is always a welcome diversion. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #4
In this fourteenth entry in the ongoing series, Naylor delivers the same humor, issue-driven storylines, and familiar, realistic characters as in the previous books. Like the titular character herself, however, this one seems to be marking time until the next Big Event in Alice's life (reserved for book number fifteen)-her father's long-anticipated marriage to Miss Summers. For now, Alice's focus is on getting through the second semester of ninth grade and "juggling all the different parts of [her] life." In addition to doing her schoolwork and cleaning the house before Sylvia (as Alice now calls her) moves in, her schedule is packed with extracurricular activities and new friends, which leaves her old friends feeling unappreciated and resentful. And there are the requisite dramas: Alice attracts the attentions of a secret admirer; suffers through a humiliating club initiation and responds by contributing to an exposT on the topic in the school newspaper; survives a bout of appendicitis; and worries about a friend in an abusive relationship. Despite this installment's formulaic feeling, reading about the highs and lows of Alice's life is always a welcome diversion. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2002 April #1
The 14th in a series finds Alice (Alice Alone, 2001, etc.) almost overwhelmed by the busy second half of ninth grade. She's writing for the school newspaper and working behind the scenes on a school musical. A secret admirer e-mails her and finally introduces himself, and a mild romance begins. Meanwhile, her two best friends resent her success and her lack of time for them. Add to this her older brother's troubled romance with a professor, her father's upcoming wedding, Alice's attack of appendicitis, and a harassment incident at school, and the novel feels as overcrowded as Alice's life. The recurring theme-that you have to change to grow but it isn't always easy-doesn't succeed in unifying the jumble of elements. Still, fans of the series will want to know what happens next because Alice is such an attractive combination of likable and imperfect. They may not be pleased, however, with the cover photograph of a too-young-looking girl that isn't likely to match the image of Alice they've created for themselves over the years. (Fiction. 11-15) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 February #2
Romance problems are not just for royals. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Simply Alice, the 14th book in the popular Alice series, finds the high school freshman looking at relationships in a brand-new way after breaking up with her boyfriend. (May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2002 May
Gr 6-9-This title picks up where Alice Alone (Atheneum, 2001) left off. It is the second semester of ninth grade, and the teen is finally getting used to seeing her ex-boyfriend Patrick with his new girlfriend, Penny. Not that Alice has much time to think about them. With her work on the school play and her assignments for the student newspaper, she suddenly doesn't even have time to spend with Elizabeth and Pamela. Nonetheless, Alice is discouraged when they begin distancing themselves from her, and is unable to confide in them about the things happening in her life, such as the secret admirer e-mails she receives or the frightening hazing ordeal she endures. Alice is also worried about her new friend, Faith, whose boyfriend is becoming increasingly possessive and abusive, and her brother, Lester, who seems to be falling in love. As always, Alice finds ways of coping with all of these situations, learning a lot about relationships and herself in the process. As with the previous books, at times there seem to be almost too many issues and problems for one book to address, but Naylor manages to hold them all together through her thoughtful, intelligent protagonist. Fans of the series will not be disappointed by this latest installment, while newcomers will quickly be charmed by the likable teen and have no trouble picking up the story here.-Ashley Larsen, Woodside Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2002 June
Now a high school freshman in this latest Alice novel, the popular heroine takes on the newspaper, school play, and new friends. At the same time, Alice struggles to maintain old friendships, prepare for her father's upcoming wedding, cope with her brother's obsession with one of his professors, and decipher mysterious e-mail messages signed Crazy About You. Because of her better-than-average coping skills, however, Alice comes through with flying colors, ready for another load of troubles in the next book of the series. Like a familiar song, Alice provides reassurance and comfortable recognition to her readers. Enough of her history is summarized to provide novices to the series sufficient background information without seeming redundant. The plot moves quickly from one obstacle to the next, in writing that tells more than shows. For example, in the course of one chapter, Alice and her friends celebrate her birthday; Alice and her father decide that she needs to broaden her experience by working another job; and Alice contacts her friends, interviews, and gets the job at a summer camp. As her brother and father have a deep conversation about Les's girlfriend before Les breaks up with her, Alice eavesdrops and leaves a note to cheer up Les. Alice is mature beyond her years and offers sound advice for anyone, although for this reviewer, the book seems a bit didactic. Fans of Alice, however, again will enjoy this precocious ninth-grader.-Ann T. Reddy-Damon. 3Q 4P M Copyright 2002 Voya Reviews